The Hundred Dresses

The Hundred Dresses

Book - 1974
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"In winning a medal she is no longer there to receive, a tight-lipped little Polish girl teaches her classmates a lesson. At the heart of the story is Wanda Petronski, a Polish girl in a Connecticut school who is ridiculed by her classmates for wearing the same faded blue dress every day. Wanda claims she has one hundred dresses at home, but everyone knows she doesn't and bullies her mercilessly. The class feels terrible when Wanda is pulled out of the school, but by that time it's too late for apologies. Maddie, one of Wanda's classmates, ultimately decides that she is 'never going to stand by and say nothing again.'"--Amazon.
Publisher: New York : Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, [1974, c1944]
ISBN: 9780152052607
Call Number: Kids Fiction
Characteristics: 80 p. : ill. (part col.) ; 24 cm
Subjects: Friendship -- Juvenile fiction.
Generosity -- Juvenile fiction.
Kindness -- Juvenile fiction.
Polish Americans -- Juvenile fiction.
Additional Contributors: Slobodkin, Louis 1903-1975.
Alternative Title: 100 dresses


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Sep 20, 2019

ARbookfinder BL 5.4

Aug 29, 2019

This story made me soo sad! Wanda, with her funny last name, gets bullied by so many girls.
" 100. One-hundred dresses, all lined up in my closet ," she would say when Maddie and Peggy asked how many dresses she had. Peggy and Maddie had bullied her so much that Wanda and her family went away from that city. So (sadly) touching!

Feb 22, 2019

I personnally thought that this book was good, but if I were the writer I would make some changes. One of the changes I would make would be that I'd tell the reader the full story and not make it mystorious. The original story made the end mystorious, Wanda moved away and the story never said where she went. Wanda said she had hundred dresses and at the end it never said if she really had hundred dresses. These minor ''mistakes'' make me feel like the book is not finished, but the rest I thought was pretty good. I engourage you people to read ''the hundred dresses'' and comment it so I know your thougts !!

VaughanPLDianeB Feb 18, 2019

A story over 70 years old that still resonates today is definitely worthy of a Newbery Honor medal. I enjoyed this short, simply written story. Behind its simplicity, however, lay many serious themes ideal for sparking meaningful and worthwhile discussions with students. Such themes include pre-judging, bullying, loneliness, wanting to belong, kindness and forgiveness -- just to name a few. Ironically, the beautiful dresses Wanda drew were just part of her talent -- her true beauty came from within and, eventually, gave the most pause for thought.

VaughanPLDonnalee Feb 09, 2019

This timeless story from 1944 shows that bullying and teasing are unfortunately nothing new. This lovely children's book shows how hurtful and destructive bullying and teasing can be, but also shows how kindness and empathy are even more powerful. Poor Wanda Petronski is mocked mercilessly by some of her classmates. Will the others stand by and do nothing? The book is gentle and simple enough to make it accessible for young children, but it remains a very thoughtful and impactful book. It is a Newbery Honor book and a true classic. Although written in 1944, it feels completely timeless and it has lost none of its poignancy. Highly recommended.

Jan 18, 2019


Aug 23, 2018

This has been one of my favorites! I have a copy at home! It's just heart wrenching but amazing at the same time!

Feb 04, 2018

Wanda is the poor motherless girl from Poland. By the author's description, you get the feeling that even if she doesn't have a perfect verbal command of English, she understands perfectly what is said to and about her and her shabby clothing. Worlds apart is Peggy, the popular rich girl in her class. After Wanda makes an attempt to fit into a conversation by talking about her beautiful dresses, Peggy begins what seems like a game to her and taunts Wanda daily in front of a crowd of classmates about all of the beautiful dresses in her closet.

Bridging their world is Maddie, Peggy's best friend. While she isn't isolated by a language barrier and has Peggy's unspoken social protection, she is uncomfortably aware that her poverty makes her more similar to Wanda than Peggy. While Maddie gratefully accepts Peggy's castoffs, she is terrified of the power Peggy's generosity gives her. The daily game of picking on Wanda continually hardens Maddie's uncomfortable vulnerability; she is keenly aware that speaking out in Wanda's defense could put her in Wanda's place.

The truth is that Wanda does have 100 dresses, just not the kind Peggy has. The book ends on a melancholy note. Maddie (and perhaps Peggy) become better people as a result of what happens to Wanda and her family, but Maddie (and the reader) are haunted by Wanda's unknown fate.

Dec 26, 2016

A gem from the past. Find a child and read it to them.

rere3 Aug 30, 2015

An important book with valuable lessons on bullying, class differences and childhood. Certainly even adults can feel the pang of emotion this book evokes.

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Aug 29, 2019

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